PORTLAND, Ore. - This weekend will be a great time to head out and enjoy the outdoors, and not just because of the beautiful weather we've been having.
You see, this weekend you can get a free night of camping, take advantage of day-use fees being waived and do a little fishing even if you don't have a license.
Every year (dating back to 1998), fees have been waived at state parks on the first Saturday in June for Oregon State Parks Day. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife also lets folks fish without a license during the weekend.
On Saturday, June 6, visitors to state park campgrounds can stay the night for free in a full hookup site, electrical hookup site or a tent site. Camping reservations may be made online or by calling Reservations Northwest at 1-800-452-567 before 5 p.m. on June 4. Be aware that the free night of camping is quite popular and it may be difficult to reserve a spot.
Day-use fees will be waived at the 26 state parks that require passes.
June 6-7 is Free Fishing Weekend and on those two days you won’t need a fishing or shellfish license to fish, crab or clam anywhere in the state. You also don’t need to buy any additional tags.
This year's State Parks Day coincides with the celebration of Oregon's 150th birthday and there are a number of special events scheduled for the weekend.
- Champoeg State Heritage Area, a place widely recognized as the site where Oregon's movement to statehood began, will showcase its renovated visitor center with its new exhibits. The celebration, co-sponsored by the Friends of Historic Champoeg and Daughters of the American Revolution, also will include tours of the park's 1860s kitchen garden and old Champoeg town site. Evening programs with historical themes will take place in the campground and at the Historic Butteville Store.
- Other special sesquicentennial activities include living history skits in the Hughes House at Cape Blanco State Park; an Oregon birthday card signing and Dutch oven cooking contest at Farewell Bend State Park; a guided tour of the homestead of the area's first white settler at Carl Washburne State Park; special night tours of the lighthouse at Heceta Head; a time capsule dedication at Tryon Creek State Natural Area, and roving living history interpretive presentations at Crown Point State Scenic Viewpoint, recalling why the Vista House is a memorial to pioneers.
- ‘Stub' Stewart State Park is one of the parks combining its State Parks Day celebration with special State Trails Day activities. Guided walks will explore the methods of trail building, the lives of beavers, and the ways hikers, bikers and horseback riders can share trails.
- Silver Falls State Park will open its trails to its third annual 5K Footrace and Youth Development Run. Birthday cake after the races will be served in the park's historic South Falls Lodge.
- Free fishing will be offered at Clyde Holliday State Recreation Site, Detroit Lake State Recreation Area, Fort Stevens State Park, Jessie Honeyman State Park and Champoeg. Sponsored by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, anglers of all ages and expertise can try their luck without a license June 6-7.
- For more events